Western Electrician, June 27, 1903, page 503:
Wireless Communication Between Santa Catalina Island and the Mainland.
BY FRANK C. PERKINS.
As readers of the Western Electrician are aware, communication by space telegraphy is maintained between the mainland of Southern California and the island of Santa Catalina, across some 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean. A "wireless" newspaper is published in Avalon, on the island, by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles being the nearest large city, and the work of transmission is done by the Western Union Telegraph Company over the land stretches and the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company through the ether over the sea. The latter company has offices on Ocean Avenue in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. The accompanying pictures of the Avalon "wireless" station and down-town office and the additional details here given will be of interest.
Up to the time of the installation of this space-telegraph station there had been no telegraphic communication between the mainland and Santa Catalina, which is quite a summer resort, and having an almost perfect climate during the entire year, is becoming very popular as a winter resort as well. The main village upon this island is known as Avalon and has a population of several thousand. The island is owned by the Banning Company, and several boats run between it and the mainland daily. The "wireless" station, shown in Fig. 1, with an interior view in Fig. 2, is located on a high bluff on the north side of Avalon Bay. The space-telegraph instruments are of the Swenson type, and the service has been satisfactory to the present time, several thousand messages having been sent with accuracy and dispatch. The vice-president of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company is General A. L. New, and the plant, which is located at Sugar Load Rock, is operated in connection with the Western Union Telegraph system, as the signs on the "down-town" office in Avalon (Fig. 3) plainly show. The newspaper known as The Wireless of Avalon is published on the island of Santa Catalina, and the news of the day is communicated from the mainland to the island by the space-telegraph system. The instruments record the messages with accuracy, even during the most severe storms, which are of frequent occurrence about the island. These storms are terrific and the wind and waves are so high between the island and the mainland that the steamer communication is often stopped, and the space-telegraphic system is the only means of conveying messages to and from the mainland. As will be noted by reference to Fig. 2, showing the interior of the station, a complete generating plant is installed within the building for supplying the necessary current for operating the transmitting apparatus. The generator of this set is belt-driven by a vertical gasoline engine and is controlled by a switchboard upon which are mounted the usual pilot lamps, ammeter, voltmeter and main and feeder switches as well as the rheostat for varying the resistance of the field. The high-pressure coil is located at the left and is mounted upon a low platform, as noted in the picture. The aerial wires are connected with a pole of great height located on the bluff above the station. The Western Union wires are used in conveying the messages from the wireless-telegraphic stations at the water side to various points on the island and the mainland.